Halloween, which has its roots in both a celebration of the change in seasons and a day to honor the memory of our ancestors, is not a federally recognized holiday, but this year it falls on a Saturday. It won’t happen again until 2015, so enjoy it.
For that handful of kids who haven’t been planning their costume since school started, you can pull together something last minute at the West Tisbury library’s Saturday crafting program which will include mask making, which has the lowest effort-to-impact ratio of all costume elements. Drop in anytime between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Once you have your look figured out, those calorie counters may want to consider the Halloween Adventures available from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Farm Institute in Katama. Get your metabolism pumping in the dreaded corn maze, catch your breath on a hayride, and then get back to work pressing cider, carving pumpkins and other honest fun. Creative costumes pay off with prizes here as well, and if you’re lucky, you can catch Chappy’s own Kevin Keady performing a musical adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe’s eminently spooky poem, The Raven, at noon. The cost for all this and more is only $5, or $10 per family.
If Halloween is more than just fun and games to you, head over to Eastville Beach, next to the drawbridge, for a Costume Cleanup from 10 a.m. to noon. Costumes are optional, but gloves are required. Garbage bags and treats are provided, and the raindate is Sunday from noon to 2 p.m.
Edgartown’s Happy Haunting Celebration is from noon to 3 p.m., rain or shine. Trick-or-treat at area merchants, and visit the library for free facepainting. Same deal for downtown Vineyard Haven, except they are passing out goodies from 2 to 6 p.m. Look for balloons and you’ll find the treats.
If you feel like our fuzzier friends are getting left out, Good Dog Goods on Circuit avenue in Oak Bluffs is holding a Canine Costume Party from noon to 4 p.m. Dogs are invited to dress up and bring their owners for treats, prizes and play in the backyard. Pick up a dog costume at Shirley’s Hardware or make your own.
Catch a hayride anytime from 2 p.m. until dusk at the Tisbury Wharf, and thank the Rotary Club for the lift.
For family fun, the West Tisbury and Chilmark libraries are both hosting parties from 3 to 5 p.m. with crafts, goodies and other surprises, while the Edgartown School is throwing a bash in the gymnasium from 4 to 6 p.m., with games, a live deejay, professional photobooth and prizes for costumes, including one for best group costume. More safe, family-friendly Halloween fun runs from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Federated Church Parish House, 45 South Summer street, Edgartown; and at Halloween Haven at the Vineyard Playhouse from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Up-Islanders will have plenty of room from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Agricultural Hall, where there are the usual games, prizes, tricks and treats, as well as a spooky hayride.
If you like your Halloween night to be scary and a little educational, try Holly Nadler’s Ghosts and Graves of Edgartown Tour, which begins at 7 p.m. outside Edgartown Books. Cost is $10; $5 for kids. No reservations required.
For the grown-ups, a Halloween Hellraiser to benefit WVVY 93.7 at Mediterranean in Oak Bluffs runs all the way from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m., with world class deejays, a buffet dinner, and a $500 prize for the best costume. $20 at the door. For details, call 508-693-1617.
And of course, there’s the Boogies. They play their freaky funk at Nectar’s by the airport, with doors opening at 9 p.m. Sorry kids, 21 plus only at this venue, and it will cost you $20 to get in. But so worth it.